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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 2, Issue 24AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Flight Training Edition --Vol. 2, Issue 24

Volume 2, Issue 24 • June 14, 2002
In this issue:
Michigan begins background checks
Legendary flight instructor honored
AOPA�disputes senator's comments

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Copyright � 2002 AOPA.

Training Tips
SAFE GROUND OPERATIONS
Anyone learning to fly these days knows that emphasis is being placed by the Federal Aviation Administration on avoiding ground mishaps. AOPA and the AOPA Air Safety Foundation have been actively promoting this critical subject as well. A recent ASF newsletter article focused on an incident involving a student pilot's interpretation of a taxi clearance. Reader reaction to the article confirmed the existence of a need to clarify pilots' and air traffic controllers' perceptions of how ground operations are to be conducted. If you want to test your knowledge of airport ground operations, check out the ASF Runway Safety Program online course.

Many pilots recently received a letter from the FAA's associate administrator for regulation and certification on the matter of runway incursions. The letter (which included two new advisory circulars and an airport-marking guide) acknowledged progress but also heralded changes in training standards that will be aimed at improving pilots' surface operations skills. Be aware that those changes will include making surface operations "a required topic for practical test standards" and will add more questions on surface ops to knowledge tests.

The August 2001 AOPA Flight Training discussed how to prepare for real-world conditions of ground ops at unfamiliar airports in the article "Reducing Runway Run-ins". It also pointed out how complacency at a familiar airport can get a pilot in trouble. To brush up your own knowledge of surface ops, check out the AOPA's Handbook for Pilots descriptions of runway and taxiway markings.

A training tip: Monitor the ground-control frequency at the nearest tower-controlled airport on an aviation-band radio for practice whenever possible. Make sure you understand the meaning of such clearances as "Taxi into position and hold." According to the Pilot/Controller Glossary in the Aeronautical Information Manual, this phrase is "used by ATC to inform a pilot to taxi onto the departure runway in takeoff position and hold. It is not authorization for takeoff. It is used when takeoff clearance cannot immediately be issued because of traffic or other reasons." Write down any instructions you hear that are unfamiliar, and look them up in the AIM's glossary. Remember that even with a clearance in hand, you must still exercise proper vigilance to avoid mishaps caused by others' mistakes, as illustrated in the January 2002 AOPA Flight Training article "Cleared for Takeoff?". Stay especially alert while operating an aircraft on the ground.
Your Partner in Training
Beautiful, sunny days with calm winds can create annoying turbulence as bubbles of warm air begin rising, creating thermals. Flying early in the morning before the sun heats the ground, or late in the day as it's cooling off, will provide smoother air. If you have basic knowledge of what causes turbulence, you can avoid it. Find out more from AOPA Online. And don't forget, our aviation experts at 800/USA-AOPA weekdays are available between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern time to answer your questions.

As an AOPA Flight Training Member, you have access to all of the features within AOPA Online. For login information click here.
Flight Training News
MICHIGAN BEGINS BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR STUDENT PILOTS
Despite strong opposition from AOPA and Michigan pilots, a new Michigan law requiring criminal background checks for flight school students seeking a new pilot certificate or rating is now in place--and it is raising many questions in the state. Background checks are not required for anyone taking an introductory or "discovery" flight, or for pilots seeking a flight review or instrument proficiency check. However, student pilots who began flight training after May 1, as well as certificated pilots seeking a new rating, must undergo a criminal background check. Students can begin lessons before the check is complete but would be terminated from the flight training program if the check turned up a conviction for a violent felony in the past seven years. Michigan's Department of Transportation has compiled a list of FAQs with answers to the most common questions. AOPA plans to work vigorously with Michigan legislators to formulate and adopt a less intrusive, more workable law.

LEGENDARY TENNESSEE FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR HONORED
Evelyn B. Johnson, an active 92-year-old flight instructor and designated pilot examiner in Morristown, Tennessee, better known to her many student pilots as "Mama Bird," will receive the National Aeronautic Association's Katharine B. Wright Memorial Award for 2002 next month at The Ninety-Nine's annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri. The award is presented annually to a woman who has made a significant contribution to the art, sport, and science of aviation. An instructor since 1947, Johnson has logged more than 57,000 hours. "No other woman has trained more pilots or logged more hours in as many types of airplanes than Evelyn Johnson," said Robert Woods, director of the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division. Johnson was the National Flight Instructor of the Year in 1979 and served for 18 years as a member of the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission.

MONTANA COLLEGE LAUNCHES FLIGHT PROGRAM
Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, will begin its own flight training operations this fall from the nearby Laurel Municipal Airport, a two-minute flight from Billings Logan International Airport, a tower-controlled airport with a variety of instrument approaches. "The location in Laurel provides excellent airport facilities for training, with a lot of airspace in Montana's Big Sky country, where students will learn to fly in an environment that offers a variety of weather and terrain conditions," said Roy Speeg, director of flight operations. The college will receive five New Piper Archers and an Arrow. For more information, see the college's Web site.

CAREER FAIR DRAWS 900
Nearly 900 job applicants seeking careers in the aviation industry attended the AEPS Aviation Career AirFair in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, last weekend. More than two dozen major aviation-related companies were recruiting. Among the 887 job seekers at the South Florida event, were 462 pilots. AEPS will hold another fair in the Dallas area during September, and plans one in Atlanta for November.
Inside AOPA
AOPA DISPUTES SENATOR'S COMMENTS ON LIGHT PLANES
In a letter to fellow senators asking for support of his proposal to require background checks on all foreign applicants to U.S. flight schools, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) touted small airplanes as a catalyst for tragedy. The senator made the claim that a "small plane directed into a nuclear power plant could cause a nuclear disaster," an argument that is disputed in an AOPA-commissioned report by a nuclear power expert. This report was submitted for the record last week during a Senate committee hearing. "I am dismayed by Nelson's perception of light aircraft, especially with such a vibrant general aviation community in Florida," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It is not the U.S. pilot population that is the problem; it is a breakdown in the government's ability to identify and act against terrorists." See the senator's letter or download AOPA's report.

BUSH ANNOUNCES PLAN TO CONSOLIDATE HOMELAND SECURITY
President Bush is asking Congress to create a Department of Homeland Security that would absorb many existing agencies as part of the strategy to prevent future terrorist attacks on the United States. The recently created Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which has become increasingly involved in security issues affecting general aviation, would move from the Transportation Department to the new Homeland Security Department along with law enforcement agencies like the Coast Guard, Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Border Patrol. "This means that we will have to work that much harder building on our existing relationships with Gov. Ridge, the head of Homeland Security, and TSA Undersecretary John Magaw to make sure that general aviation is protected as an important part of the U.S. transportation system," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. See AOPA�Online.

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Training Products
Intimidated by the sometimes rapid-fire instructions you receive over the radio from air traffic controllers? Understanding how the system works, knowing what to say, and being able to anticipate the controller's response will help. This information is available in the updated edition of Say Again, Please: Guide to Radio Communications by Bob Gardner, available for $19.95 from Aviation Supplies and Academics.
Final Exam
Question: When filing a flight plan, I have to enter an aircraft type designator. Where is the easiest place to find this information?

Answer: Aircraft type designators may be found in FAA Order 7110.65, the Air Traffic Controller's Handbook . Appendix A lists aircraft information, including the designator for each make and model of aircraft. The type designators assist air traffic controllers in identifying specific aircraft and understanding their performance characteristics, such as climb and descent rates.

Got a technical question for AOPA specialists? E-mail to [email protected] or call 800/872-2672.
Picture Perfect
Jump to the AOPA Online Gallery to see the featured airplane of the day. Click on the link for details on how to capture wallpaper for your work area. See AOPA Online.
What's New At AOPA Online
It's thunderstorm season, and to increase pilot awareness of this potential threat, AOPA Online now offers a new Thunderstorm Avoidance online subject report. It is a compilation of articles from AOPA Pilot and AOPA Flight Training magazines, as well as publications from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, that emphasizes how to anticipate–and avoid–thunderstorms along your route of flight.
Weekend Weather
See the current weather on AOPA�Online, provided by Meteorlogix.
ePilot Calendar
WEEKEND FLYING DESTINATIONS
Lock Haven, Pennsylvania. Sentimental Journey takes place June 19 through 23 at William T. Piper Memorial Airport (LHV). Return to Cub Heaven for this annual fly-in. Tours of the area, attractions, and the Piper Aviation Museum. Contact Doc Conway, 570/893-4200, or visit the Web site.

St. Louis, Missouri. The Gateway Eagles Eighth Annual Fly-in takes place June 22 at St. Louis Downtown Airport (CPS). Visit the Web site for more information.

San Carlos, California. The Vertical Challenge Helicopter Air Show takes place June 22 at San Carlos Airport (SQL). For more information, visit the Web site.

For more airport details, see AOPA's Airport Directory Online . For more events, see Aviation Calendar of Events

ASF FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR REFRESHER CLINICS
(All clinics start at 7:30 a.m.)
The next AOPA Air Safety Foundation Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics are scheduled in Las Vegas June 22 and 23. Clinics are scheduled in Minneapolis and Reston, Virginia, June 29 and 30. For the Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic schedule, see AOPA Online.

ASF PINCH-HITTER GROUND-SCHOOL COURSES
(Pinch-Hitter courses start at 9:30 a.m.)
The next Pinch-Hitter� Ground Schools will take place in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on June 23 and Minneapolis on June 30. For more Pinch-Hitter courses, see AOPA Online.

ASF SAFETY SEMINARS
AOPA Air Safety Foundation Safety Seminars are scheduled in East Elmhurst, New York, June 24; Brookhaven, New York, June 25; Poughkeepsie, New York, June 26; and Randolph, New Jersey, June 27. The topics is single-pilot IFR, see AOPA�Online.

To make submissions to the calendar, visit AOPA Online. For comments on calendar items, e-mail [email protected].

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